CAIRO, August 31, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) — The British government has named famed Swiss scholar Tariq Ramadan as one of a government committee set up to address the underlying causes of terrorism in Britain, a leading British newspaper reported Wednesday, August 31.
The academic attended a meeting at the Home Office last week to discuss extremism among British Muslims as part of the group’s work, well-placed sources told the Guardian.
The 13-member taskforce is comprised of Muslims from community groups, like Inayat Bunglawala from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), academics and the MP Shahid Malik.
[K]nown as the working group on tackling extremism, the taskforce is part of the government’s response to the July 7 attacks on London, and was announced by (Prime Minister) Tony Blair. Its 13 members had been chosen by the Home Office.
The group will report to the home secretary and prime minister by late September and make proposals to stop British Muslims turning to violence, according to the paper.
Ramadan’s appointment to the committee was hailed as the right person for the right job and evidence of the government’s willingness to stand up to rightwing tabloids that had savaged the moderate scholar.
“It sends all the right messages that the government is engaged in a real search for answers, rather than pandering to kneejerk elements in the rightwing press and their prejudices,” Labour MP Sadiq Khan told the paper.
“It’s important for the government to listen to people who have scholarly knowledge of the issues.”
IslamOnline doesn’t mention that Ramadan was barred from entering the United States. Those right-wing tabloids must have a lot of clout.